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Flames 5, Avalanche 4

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CALGARY, Alberta (AP) -Todd Bertuzzi is winning over fans in Calgary.

A controversial signing last July, Bertuzzi has turned jeers to cheers early this season by finding the net often. He scored twice Tuesday night to lead the Flames over the Colorado Avalanche 5-4 for their first win of the season.

"Todd played an excellent game for us, the whole line had jump and you could see that he's recapturing the form that we've seen in the past and that's exciting for our team and our fans," Flames coach Mike Keenan said.

Jarome Iginla scored a short-handed goal at 7:23 of the third period that gave the Flames a 4-3 lead over the winless Avalanche.

"You have to give credit to our captain," said Bertuzzi, who has three goals in three games. "He stepped up and fought their tough guy (Cody McCormick), did awesome against him, got a goal and an assist, and turned the game around. That's what leadership is all about and that's why we're moving in the right direction."

Four minutes later, Calgary went ahead by two when Iginla's shot from the right wing was kicked out to Bertuzzi, who slapped the rebound into the open side.

But the Avalanche got within one just 18 seconds later when Ben Guite's 60-foot one-hop wrist shot was muffed by Miikka Kiprusoff.

Colorado wasn't able to score after that, despite a power play. Calgary finally won after opening the season with a pair of losses, one in overtime, to the Vancouver Canucks.

Dustin Boyd and Craig Conroy also scored for the notoriously slow-starting Flames (1-1-1) who are off to their fastest start since 2003-04.

Cody McLeod, John-Michael Liles, and Ryan Smyth also scored for Colorado (0-3-0).

"We can't push the panic button or get discouraged," Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote said. "In our first two games, we clearly outplayed the teams, and tonight it seemed like it was going back and forth and both teams were making mistakes and both teams had the heat on them to get this win and we made the last mistake and they were able to capitalize on it."

Notes: Iginla got in a fight for the second straight game, this time going with McCormick. He had two fights before collecting his first point. ... On the day of the federal election in Canada, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and 12-year-old son Ben spent Tuesday morning at the Pengrowth Saddledome watching the Flames practice ... Colorado RW Marek Svatos did not play due to an undisclosed injury... Calgary C Matthew Lombardi played in his 300th career NHL game.

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